Philippine Blog Awards 2008: A Report

Applause, cheers and the never-ending flicker of camera lights welcomed the country’s top bloggers at the 2nd Philippine Blog Awards held Sunday at glitzy rites held at 1Esplanade near SM Mall of Asia.

Some bloggers came in formal attire, while others came in smart casual wear, but no one seemed to mind. Everyone was up on their toes on who were chosen by the judges, mostly bloggers too, as the best across 36 categories.

A number of attendees twittered and plurked and liveblogged, while those who were not present watched the proceedings through webcasts.

Pinoys lead world in social networking and blogging

Thee awards immediately after the Philippine Daily Inquirer published a report noting the Philippines’ leading role in mass participation in blogging and social networking, outpacing most countries.

According to a study, the Philippines was No. 1 in social networking and No. 2 in blogging.

Most outstanding blogs

In quick-paced fashion, the following were awarded as the country’s best blogs for 2008 Gibbs Cadiz (arts and culture); Pinoy Web Startup (business); Creature Lover (commentary); The Professional Heckler, No Special Effects (food); The D Spot (family and living); Pinoy Guy Guide (fashion and lifestyle); Comicology The Study of Awesome (hobby and recreation); tonyocruz.com (news and media); Atheista (personal); lostphotograph (photoblog); The Bull Runner (sports); PinoyBlogero.com (technology) Ironwulf.net: En Route (travel); and CokskiBlue Pinoy Vlogs Videos and Vodcasts (video blogs and podcasts).

The Philippine Blog Awards expanded its categories this year and likewise recognized the best single posts across all categories.

Best single posts

Trophies were handed out to writers behind the following posts: EJ: Ang Pinagdaanang Buhay nina Evelio Javier at Edgar Jopson – A Review of a Rocking Relevant Musical (arts and culture); Ang Tibay Naman (business); The Problem of R.A. 9439 (commentary); Manila’s Movie Theaters (entertainment); Marketman Learns How to Make Tinapa from Scratch!!! (food and beverage); Me and Tia Inez (family and living); Camo Comes Out Of Hiding (fashion and lifestyle); Limatik (Blood Leeches): An overview (hobby and recreation); Confessions of a “New Media” Heretic (or, the jester in exile throws yet another gauntlet before the MSM “priest caste”) (news and media); Out of school, part 1: Forks (personal); Urban Cave (photoblog); garmin vs nike a test of accuracy (sports); The Making of Lakbayan (Part1&2) (technology); How I broke a ritual taboo in Batad (travel)

Special Awards

Winner of special awards were: OctTwelve (best blog design); Daily Top Ten (best plugin/extension); Una WordPress Theme (best custom theme); Juan Mandaraog (best network blogger); and Samjuan (best OFW blog).

Batang Yagit emerged as the “bloggers choice”, outpacing dozens of competitors from across the country and garnering the highest number of endorsements from bloggers themselves.

Sponsored awards

Strong industry support for bloggers was obvious with booths and banners of sponsors all over the venue.

Event sponsors also handed out awards: Level UP! Gaming Blog of The Year for Just Perfect: Perfect World; Nokia Kaleidoscope of Connections Award went to “Kaleidoscope Trip”, “Messages With an Impact” and “Connecting People With a Push of the Button” (all Nokia award winners posted here); San Miguel Oktoberfest Best Blog Post went to San Miguel Oktoberfest 2008! (1 of 2); Geiser Maclang Special Award for Mom Exchange | Celebrating Motherhood; Blog Bank’s “Blogger, Not the Blog Award” to Arpee Lazaro; and Flippish’s Most Flip Vlog/Blog Award to PinoyPowerNet.

Keynote, closing speeches

In his keynote speech at the start of the ceremonies, Sen. Mar Roxas congratulated Filipino bloggers for their growing use of blogging as “a democratic, free and libertarian tool”,  noting that the awarding ceremonies came exactly 36 years after the Philippines was placed under martial rule.

Roxas also expressed admiration for bloggers’ sense of personal responsibility and discipline, and their readiness to communicate with the world.

Speaking on behalf of organizers at the end of the awards rites, Jayvee Fernandez referred to the three head fakes of blogging, taking off from the story of the Randy Pausch of “The Last Lecture” fame.

Nomination, judging

Hundreds of blogs and blog posts were nominated this year, and it was left to several judges to find the best among the bumber crop of nominees.

Serving as judges for this year’s awards were: Aileen Apollo, Migs Paraz, Adel Gabot, Christian “Juan Ekis” Valles, Manuel L. Quezon III, Benj Arriola, Gang Badoy, Erwin Romulo, August Dela Cruz, BryanBoy, Ernesto G. Sonido Jr., Erwin Oliva, Ernie U. Sarmiento, Max Limpag, JJ Disini, Derek Punsalan, Brad Geiser, Analyn Jusay, Luis Buenaventura and Janette Toral. ###

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